Christian Eckes shocked the racing world when he went down to Pensacola, Florida and won the Snowball Derby last December at the age of 16. Eckes won the race in his first Snowball Derby start and became the first New York native to win the event. Now, for the first time since collecting the Tom Dawson trophy, Eckes is headed back to Five Flags Speedway for Friday’s Southern Super Series Super Late Model race.


“It’s going to be really cool to go back to Pensacola,” Eckes said.  “It’s definitely going to bring back a lot of memories with my team. I’m really looking forward to that side of it.”


300x250 2017.07.28 FFSEckes said he can’t wait to get back to the legendary half-mile race track in the Florida Panhandle because he enjoys racing there so much.


“Five Flags is such a cool place to race and going back to it after a big win will be really cool. I know going back that we showed a lot of success at the race track and it’ll be close when we unload, which takes a big weight off to say the least.”


The Middletown, New York driver has been very close to winning this season across all forms of racing. Eckes has finished second in multiple Super Late Model races as well as in Stock Car competition with the ARCA Racing Series.


Eckes said he believes that returning to Five Flags might be exactly what he needs to break back into victory lane.


“We’ve been so close but have just missed by a little bit,” he stated.  “I believe that it’s going to take a little bit of work because of how hot it’s going to be. It’s going to be pretty slick and finding grip is going to be the main goal for the entire weekend. I can’t wait to go with my Fury Race Cars team.”


One thing that Eckes definitely has on his side is his car. Eckes and his Fury Race Cars team will be bringing back the same race car that won the Snowball Derby in December.


“Every time I show up with my Fury Race Cars team I know we’ll be close and have a shot, and with how good we were there at the derby it’s definitely something to look forward to,” Eckes said.  “We’re bringing the derby car back, so it should be pretty good rolling into this weekend.”


Eckes will hit the track at Five Flags Speedway on Friday, July 28 for practice from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. CT. Qualifying will take place at 7 p.m. with the 100-lap race set to go green after 8 p.m. CT.


Race fans can watch Christian Eckes go for the win live by tuning into’s live broadcast of the race. For more information on the live broadcast, click here.


For more on Christian Eckes, visit, and be sure to follow him on Twitter, @ChristianEckes.


-51 Sports Press Release. Photo credit: Nuttleman

Defending Snowball Derby Champ Heading Back to Five Flags